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Significant Retirement Plan Changes Are Here

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, or SECURE Act which recently passed is one of the most significant pieces of retirement legislation in the last decade.  Here are some of the key provisions contained in the SECURE Act: Increase Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Age From 70 ½ to 72 – The SECURE […]

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Working Wealthy – A Little Perspective

You made it through another year. How does it feel? I know, I know, you’re not even thinking about making a New Year resolution or anything corny like that. But honestly, have you taken stock of 2019 and truly recognized all that has happened the past 12 months? We’re all likely goal-oriented people. We set […]

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Wealth Watch

Mind Over Markets

On January 16th and January 23rd, BDF held its Annual Client Event in Itasca and Downtown Chicago, respectively, with over 400 clients and guests in attendance. For those not able to attend, here is a recap of the event. Market Review Chad Carlson, Director of Investment Research, reviewed 2019 – an excellent year for the […]

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New Year – Same Identity

Entering a new year can feel like a fresh start, a clean slate, with a fresh set of ambitious resolutions to make us better versions of ourselves.  I want to challenge you to add one more resolution at the beginning of this year, take some time to make sure that your financial identity is properly […]

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Top 5 Mistakes in Estate Plans – Does Yours Have Any?

The primary purpose of an estate plan is to provide for the thoughtful transition of asset ownership to intended heirs.  After a plan is drafted, mistakes can creep in and upset a carefully-drafted plan.  Below, are five of the more common problem areas to consider. 1. Misusing Joint Ownership Joint tenancy is a common form […]

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4 Things a Surviving Spouse Should Know About Social Security

The Social Security administration gives benefits to surviving spouses based on the deceased’s retirement benefit. If the survivor is already taking retirement benefits, they can take the higher of either their own or their deceased spouse’s benefit.  Rules on these benefits are based on the age of the survivor and if the deceased had begun […]

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Year-End Financial Checklist

As 2019 comes to an end, take a few minutes to put a bow on your financial life for the year by running through this quick checklist: Maximize Employer Benefits: Spend flex dollars – Many employers offer Flexible Spending Accounts for health expenses or dependent care. Often times, balances must be spent before year-end or […]

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Wealth Watch

The State of the State – Revisited

In May 2017, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management presented “Illinois and Chicago Credit Update,” which was an insider’s look at the state of the municipal bond market in Illinois and Chicago. It was an informative but sobering look at the many financial challenges faced by Illinois and Chicago. Just recently, Gurtin returned with “Updates for the […]

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Working Wealthy – You Are In Control

Our three-year-old son, Nate, is a cannon-baller. If you’re not familiar with that term, it just means that he’s a mini-lunatic when it comes to bodily safety and decision making. For example, last weekend, as my daughter and I reclined on the floor reading a book together, Nate decided to run at us full speed […]

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Medicare 2019 – Key Enrollment Dates and Important Changes

The leaves are changing colors and a cool breeze is in the air, which means many retirees are securing their winter travel plans. However, before jumping on the plane to escape the cold winter months that lie ahead, it is also time for Medicare participants to decide if changes should be made to their health […]

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Wealth Watch

Zero Commission Revolution

Sending shockwaves across the investment world, Charles Schwab announced zero commissions for stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading effective October 7 (mutual funds will still have a small cost to buy and sell). Rival brokers, TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, and later, Fidelity, followed suit. The move to zero commission trading is aimed at both keeping clients […]

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Updating an Estate Plan – Organizing Your Thoughts

Preparing an estate plan can be an intimidating process, since final instructions for a family’s assets are memorialized.  Upon death, those instructions are fixed – forever.  Estate plans should be reviewed frequently as family circumstances change – children mature into adults and in-laws are introduced into a family.  When children are very young, parents focus […]

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